Little known fact about me: I am an obsessive DIYer.  Most of the furniture in my house has been thrifted or garage saled and then refinished.  I like the satisfaction of working on something that’s been thrown away or outcast and turning it into something fantastic. I’m also uber-thrifty (read: cheap) and while I love the finer things in life, I don’t like the price tags that are typically attached.

My most recent project: a vanity tray for my dresser.  I’ve got far too many bracelets, rings, perfume bottles, and other paraphernalia cluttering up my dresser. Organization, please! My inspiration piece was this beauty from Urban Outfitters:

I loved the scroll work of the metal and the gorgeous (albeit faux) patina. And although it was priced at only $24, which was reasonable compared to some others I’d seen for $100-$200 or more (!!), I still thought I could do better cost-wise.  I made a quick trip to my local thrift store and, after rummaging through a bin of old picture frames, I found an antique frame with a comparable filigree:

The frame’s velvet stand had long since broken off and the glass pane was split in two.  But the $.99 price tag and the additional 50% off sale meant I couldn’t pass it up.  The poor little broken frame came home with me.

I thought at first about trying to replace the glass with either a mirror or a new pane and then maybe spray painting the frame a fun color, but since my goal was to keep this refurbish under the total cost of its Urban Outfitters equivalent, I decided not to replace or paint anything. Instead, I bought a single sheet of pretty, scrapbooking paper from Hobby Lobby. Of course, the paper was 50% off (woo!) so it only cost me another $.14.

Once home, it only took a couple of quick coats of Mod Podge to seal the paper to the glass, one coat on the back to seal the broken glass together, a few hours to dry and blamo!  My new vanity tray was ready for action!

Pretty gorgeous, right? I actually like my version better than the Urban Outfitters’ one.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

Frame:  $ .99 @ 50% off = $.48

Paper:  $ .29 @ 50% off = $.14

Mod Podge: already had some left from a previous project


My total cost:  $  .62

Urban Outfitters’ version:  $24.00

TOTAL SAVED:  $23.38

Mission Accomplished!!